New PowerBook Hard Drive: 5400 or 7200?

smdewart

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 11, 2005
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I plan on ordering a new PowerBook within the next couple of weeks. I'm both a college student and graphic/web designer, so I want a fast machine with good battery life. I can't decide between the standard configuration with an 80 gig HD at 5400 rpm, or spending the couple extra bucks for the 100 gig at 7200 rpm. I've heard conflicting reports on the benefits, battery life, heat, noise, etc. of the latter. Can you guys help? Thanks!! -Steve
 

panda

macrumors regular
Mar 15, 2004
220
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grapes911 said:
cool! thanks for the links.

i'm debating the same qustion and would love some feedback.

i also did a google and am not too much the wiser. it seems like the battery diff is maybe only about 5mins. and noise could be a bit more depending on the manufacturer.

what concerns me most is reliability and very importantly, NOISE.

can anyone give me their impressions on the 7200 vs 5400, or just their impressions of either? i am a total silence fanatic and work in a very quiet place. so decibles, pitch, clicks and overall machine noise, mean a lot.

i had one of the earlier al revisions and sent it back because the hd was really irritating. i believe that's been imporved.

thank you for any comments and impressions.:)
 

khisayruou

macrumors 6502a
Aug 21, 2004
539
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panda said:
can anyone give me their impressions on the 7200 vs 5400, or just their impressions of either? i am a total silence fanatic and work in a very quiet place. so decibles, pitch, clicks and overall machine noise, mean a lot.
I am really picky with noise too, here are some of my experiences with different hard drives. I am not sure which ones apple uses for the larger hard drives.

The 80gb 5400 in the powerbook is a Toshiba and it is loud. The Hitachi 80gb 7200 is pretty quiet but it has a whiny consistent high pitch sound go off every once in awhile. It got annoying really fast. The samsungs 80gb 5400 are probably the quietest I have had the privelage of using. But, I need to get my hands on a Seagate though, I hear they are mere whispers!
I use the powerbook for everyday usage, I notice differences between 4200 and 5400 and no difference at all between 5400 and 7200.


Here is some good reading on seagate and hitachi 7200s: http://www.laptoplogic.com/reviews/gear/133/1/1/
 

panda

macrumors regular
Mar 15, 2004
220
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khisayruou said:
I am really picky with noise too, here are some of my experiences with different hard drives. I am not sure which ones apple uses for the larger hard drives.

The 80gb 5400 in the powerbook is a Toshiba and it is loud. The Hitachi 80gb 7200 is pretty quiet but it has a whiny consistent high pitch sound go off every once in awhile. It got annoying really fast. The samsungs 80gb 5400 are probably the quietest I have had the privelage of using. But, I need to get my hands on a Seagate though, I hear they are mere whispers!
I use the powerbook for everyday usage, I notice differences between 4200 and 5400 and no difference at all between 5400 and 7200.


Here is some good reading on seagate and hitachi 7200s: http://www.laptoplogic.com/reviews/gear/133/1/1/
thank you!

the article is very clear.

glad to hear you are into the noise issue too and sympathize.

which pbs are you using and which drives do they have?
i seem to think the new pb 15" has a matsushita 80gb standard, seems pretty quiet (in the shop).

any thoughts? any ideas about which 7200 drive is in the new 15", and how noisy it is?

i'm really grateful for your iinput.:)
 

khisayruou

macrumors 6502a
Aug 21, 2004
539
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panda said:
which pbs are you using and which drives do they have?
i seem to think the new pb 15" has a matsushita 80gb standard, seems pretty quiet (in the shop).

any thoughts? any ideas about which 7200 drive is in the new 15", and how noisy it is?
I have a revision C 15" pb 80gb toshiba and it's loud.
The newest 15" pb comes with a 80gb 5400 toshiba as well.
Friend just got it and its loud as well when your in a quiet room.
 

plinkoman

macrumors 65816
Jul 2, 2003
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New York
one thing to keep in mind that very few people on this board realize is that a 5400rpm 2.5in drive is faster then a 5400rpm 3.5in drive. think about it, the drive is smaller, so there is less physical disk space, thus it doesn't neccesarily need to spin as fast to complete a task in the same amount of time, so, you do not need the 7200, nor will you notice that big of a difference, but it will be slightly faster, and unless your hd is spinning constantly, the effect on battery drain will be neglagable.

if you have the money, go for it
 

panda

macrumors regular
Mar 15, 2004
220
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plinkoman said:
one thing to keep in mind that very few people on this board realize is that a 5400rpm 2.5in drive is faster then a 5400rpm 3.5in drive. think about it, the drive is smaller, so there is less physical disk space, thus it doesn't neccesarily need to spin as fast to complete a task in the same amount of time, so, you do not need the 7200, nor will you notice that big of a difference, but it will be slightly faster, and unless your hd is spinning constantly, the effect on battery drain will be neglagable.

if you have the money, go for it
good point.

any other views on the noise factor?:)
 

joebells

macrumors 6502
Oct 24, 2005
425
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actually the outer tracks of a 3.5 inch drive are the fastest and they get slower as you move in. So if you have a 2.5 inch and a 3.5 inch drive with the same density and the same rotational speed then the 3.5 inch will be faster on the outer edges and you would need to spin the 2.5 faster to get an equal transfer speed.
 

panda

macrumors regular
Mar 15, 2004
220
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g0gie said:
7200 without a doubt. Im enjoying mine!
can you check in the system profiler and tell me what the make of the 7200 drive is?

and do you find it to be very quiet? even describe the sound of it?

do you find it to feel really fast?

thank you.

anyone else who has one of the latest pbs?:)
 

g0gie

macrumors regular
Jan 31, 2005
201
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panda said:
can you check in the system profiler and tell me what the make of the 7200 drive is?

and do you find it to be very quiet? even describe the sound of it?

do you find it to feel really fast?

thank you.

anyone else who has one of the latest pbs?:)

Its the seagate momentous 7200rpm. It not as quiet as the 5400 in the last rev powerbooks but its not partiularly loud, and you cant hear it in a room with ambient noise. You can however hear it spinning in a dead silent room. The performance is A LOT FASTER. in some cases loading is litteraly twice as fast. I really recommend it
 

panda

macrumors regular
Mar 15, 2004
220
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g0gie said:
Its the seagate momentous 7200rpm. It not as quiet as the 5400 in the last rev powerbooks but its not partiularly loud, and you cant hear it in a room with ambient noise. You can however hear it spinning in a dead silent room. The performance is A LOT FASTER. in some cases loading is litteraly twice as fast. I really recommend it
thank you!

the reports i've read/heard on seagate indicate that it is really quiet, compared to other 7200drives. the 5400 must be super quiet then.:)
 

California

macrumors 68040
Aug 21, 2004
3,766
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The noisiest drives I've heard are Fujistu. Steer clear, they are bad drives.

I'm a sworn Hitachi IBM Travelstar gal, and have had NO incidence of noise on any of my 4200, 5400 or 7200 travelstar drives.

I had a stock Toshiba in an old Tibook that failed also and was noisy. On the other hand, I have a FOUR and a HALF year old Hitachi travlestar from an old Tibook, that is STILL GOING STRONG.

All of this is non scientific, of course, because I could not resist the lure of Toshiba's 16mb cache on a lowly 60 gig 5400 new laptop drive that I just bought. This is double Hitachi's 8mb rate. I'll let you know how it works out -- I also have a 60gig Hitachi 5400, a 40gig Hitachi 5400 and a 60 gig Hitachi 7200 AND a 60 gig Hitachi 4200 I can compare the new Toshiba to. If its noisy, it is going back right away -- three year warranty. Who needs noise?
 

Kristine

macrumors 6502a
Feb 21, 2005
586
154
The hard drive in my Rev. E 15" Powerbook is the 80gb Seagate Momentus 5400.2 (ST9808211A). It is dead silent.
I also have a Hitachi 80gb in my Intel notebook which is dead silent.
 

generik

macrumors 601
Aug 5, 2005
4,116
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Minitrue
I strongly recommend you leave it as the stock model.. given how many PBs are exhibiting defects and need to be returned/exchanged, getting a BTO model might cause you more grief in the long run.

PS: You aren't going to enjoy the performance, for all you know that 7200 might cost you one more hour on the phone conversing with an indian on the other side of the ocean.
 

nomad01

macrumors 68000
Aug 1, 2005
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Birmingham, England
g0gie said:
The performance is A LOT FASTER. in some cases loading is litteraly twice as fast. I really recommend it
Just curious... how are you testing this speed? You have two identical Power Books side by side?

I've been trying to decide on whether to get the 7200 drive myself but reviews I've read suggest there's a big jump in speed between 4200 and 5400 but much less of a noticable gain from 5400 to 7200.
 

generik

macrumors 601
Aug 5, 2005
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nomad01 said:
Just curious... how are you testing this speed? You have two identical Power Books side by side?

I've been trying to decide on whether to get the 7200 drive myself but reviews I've read suggest there's a big jump in speed between 4200 and 5400 but much less of a noticable gain from 5400 to 7200.
My guess is it'd be "by feel"

I used to have a Hitachi 4200RPM drive on an old lappie.. swopped it for a Seagate 5200, and the thing just flew after that. The seagate drive is a good drive, I'm pretty pleased to know that the PBs are using it.
 

nomad01

macrumors 68000
Aug 1, 2005
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Birmingham, England
generik said:
I used to have a Hitachi 4200RPM drive on an old lappie.. swopped it for a Seagate 5200, and the thing just flew after that. The seagate drive is a good drive, I'm pretty pleased to know that the PBs are using it.
I can't remember which model was in my 12" PB but it never felt slow. It started up quicker than my mates G5 Power Mac... okay so it did nothing else faster than the PM but even so, disk speed didn't seem an issue.
 

generik

macrumors 601
Aug 5, 2005
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nomad01 said:
I can't remember which model was in my 12" PB but it never felt slow. It started up quicker than my mates G5 Power Mac... okay so it did nothing else faster than the PM but even so, disk speed didn't seem an issue.
That's pretty curious.. sure you didn't cheat? :D

Instant resume for the win! :rolleyes:
 

nomad01

macrumors 68000
Aug 1, 2005
1,650
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Birmingham, England
generik said:
That's pretty curious.. sure you didn't cheat? :D

Instant resume for the win! :rolleyes:
LOL Yeah, I'm sure I didn't cheat. My point though is that it wasn't a huge difference.

Loading applications was really pretty quick on the PB too. Judging by the speed things load on the PM (7200) and on my PB (5400), I'm struggling to justify spending 120 pound extra on the 7200 drive.

I also tend to think that getting a standard build will be easier to return if (when!) I get a faulty PB delivered.
 

JFreak

macrumors 68040
Jul 11, 2003
3,145
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Tampere, Finland
There's some correct information and some misinformation over here, so let me clarify:

1) the 7200rpm hard drive does NOT run any hotter than 5400rpm
2) the 7200rpm hard drive does draw SLIGHTLY more power than 5400rpm
3) the 7200rpm hard drive does NOT run any noisier than 5400rpm
4) the 7200rpm hard drive does perform SLIGHTLY better than 5400rpm

* The performance difference is more noticeable with SEEK TIMES (latency) and the sustained throughput of 5400/7200 does not differ that much. Lower latency means less work cycles and more idle cycles, so a drive with lower latency runs cooler and consumes less power.
* The noise level of 5400/7200 is EXACTLY THE SAME in decibels, but the higher rotational speed of 7200rpm drive means that the noise is of higher pitch, which is less noticeable and easier to damp with computer enclosure.
* The power consumption of an IDLE hard drive is about the same within 2.5" hard drives. Spindown/spinup procedures consume more power if the drive needs to be accelerated longer times, therefore 7200rpm hard drive draws MORE current if the user does not use the hard drive continuously. However, whenever user is constantly working and the hard drive is in real-world use, the faster seek times of a 7200rpm drive means that the faster drive will get more idle time compared to a slower one, therefore 7200rpm hard drive draws LESS current when used constantly.
 

Vasileios

macrumors regular
Oct 28, 2005
121
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Greece
i have the new powerbook 15'.
I was having the same thoughs about the hd, i went with the 5400
and i am really happy... it's the most silent thing you will ever (not) hear :)
it so quick that you want be needing the 7200... those extra bucks u can spend it extra memory...
 

panda

macrumors regular
Mar 15, 2004
220
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thank you all.

and jfreak, that is particularly clear logic.

for what its worth, in one store in denmark, they have a 15 and 17" and they both have matsushita 5400 drives. hmm, does this mean seagate is going one place and the others elsewhere?

any pb will be better than what i have in my ib g3 LOL... provided its not full of problems (screen and the like):)
 

panda

macrumors regular
Mar 15, 2004
220
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Correction

panda said:
thank you all.

and jfreak, that is particularly clear logic.

for what its worth, in one store in denmark, they have a 15 and 17" and they both have matsushita 5400 drives. hmm, does this mean seagate is going one place and the others elsewhere?

any pb will be better than what i have in my ib g3 LOL... provided its not full of problems (screen and the like):)
let me correct this... seems that the hd is in fact seagate if 'st' before the model no means anything... the superdrive is from matsushita.

i looked very hard to see the lines-on-screen problem but couldn't. is it very apparent just by looking at it, or do you really have to test for it?:rolleyes: